All You Have to Do is Ask. Here’s How.

Posted 01.29.2020

Asking for help is often the one simple act standing between us and success.

That’s a quote from Dr. Wayne Baker in his new book, All You Have to Do is Ask: How to Master the Most Important Skill for Success.

Wayne is a professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and an expert on building and strengthening connections. When I read his book, I found myself nodding my head a lot because his research and experience support the basic ideas I teach about effective networking.  Wayne goes way, way deeper on them.

I was fortunate to recently have a conversation with Dr. Baker and am excited to share it with you. Listen along as Wayne shares fascinating research on how to ask for help and simple, powerful and proven ways to make the ask. Among other topics in the conversation, we talk about:

  • What keeps people from asking for help?
  • The best way to ask a stranger in New York City how to borrow their phone. (An important life skill that you never know when you’re going to need!)
  • What’s the best way to ask busy people for help? There’s a five-step formula that raises your chances of getting help.
  • Why your network of people who can help you is stronger than you think. The key is to make the ask. Wayne shares some amazing stories that illustrate that point.
  • Why dormant ties and connections – the people you knew in a former life – are often the best people to ask for help.
  • What makes my wife, Diane, a better than average asker. The research shows that most people, including me, are not very good at asking for help. If you want to get some insight into your giving and asking preferences and find out how you compare to the norm, take three minutes to complete this self-assessment that Wayne and his colleagues developed.

And now, without further ado, here’s Dr. Wayne Baker.

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